Digital legacies in estate planning

On Behalf of | Dec 21, 2015 | Estate Planning

People in Nevada who have prepared an estate plan may feel that they have been thorough, but they should ask themselves whether they have considered their digital legacy. With so many aspects of people’s lives lived online these days, it is important to ensure that loved ones have clear instructions regarding those accounts.

This should include a list of passwords and information on who is able to authorize the accounts associated with those passwords. People who are active on social media may also want to leave instructions in the event of their death about how those accounts will be handled. Even those who avoid social media may have emails, photos and other documentation that they want someone to deal with.

There is a growing industry of companies that help people design a digital legacy. These companies will put everything from wills to wishes for a Facebook page and funeral into one easy-to-find depository. It is also possible for people to leave instructions about their wishes in the event that they become incapacitated.

Another potential advantage of sites like these is that they can help prompt people about aspects of their estate planning they may not have considered. Most people think of wills, but few may have considered if and how they would like their passing announced on forums they frequent. Often, people also do not think about preparing documentation such as an advance medical directive and a power of attorney. These documents provide instructions for a person’s medical care and appoint someone to manage their assets if they cannot communicate those decisions themselves. However, even with the existence of digital depositories, people should consider working with experienced attorneys to design their estate plans to avoid inheritance issues. It might be easy to make errors with do-it-yourself documents, and trusts and other tools for estate planning may be complex.